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1984-1987 : GM Classic

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The GM Classic buses were the successor to the GM New Look buses (otherwise known as fishbowls). Due to these being heavily based off of the fishbowls but simply having a new design, these buses are mechanically identical and virtually all parts are identical between the two models.

OC Transpo's GM Classics were the end of the GM era due to being the last buses equipped with the 6V71N engine and being made by GM. On the other hand, these were also the beginning of a new era where Fishbowls were no longer purchased (but stayed around for a long time, not retiring until 2007 at the latest).

Engine: These Classics came with a 181HP 6V71N engine. Despite having the same power as the fishbowls, these buses were slightly slower due to being heavier than the fishbowls. However, that's not to say they were bad. They were in fact very reliable with almost no issues to report. The only criticism that I would mention would be that I wish the power of the engine was  increased to compensate for the extra weight. Other than that, they were great.

Transmission: The 84xx Classics came with a V730 transmission (identical to all 76xx-82xx fishbowls) and the 85xx and 87xx buses came with a V731 transmission. This transmission was very similar to the V730 although it was now electronically controlled.

Riding experience: These Classics gave a great ride despite being a bit slow. I found that these buses (along with all other buses with the pink vinyl seats) could get a bit hot inside during the summer due to no A/C, but the buses that had sliding windows gave great ventilation to compensate. The seats were comfortable and they were a pleasure to sit on.

Reliability: These buses were great in terms of reliability but the 84xx and 85xx buses were known to have issues with the rear doors not functioning (although there were some good buses in each batch). As a result, passengers had to exit from the front which made the boarding process longer.

Retirements: The 84xx got retired by April 2005 (81xx-82xx fishbowls were still all active at that point) mainly due to the rear door issue. The 85xx started being retired in 2005 and the last three units were retired in April 2007. The 87xx featured improved rear doors which were more reliable. The worst condition units (20 of them) were taken out in 2004-2006, whereas the more reliable units in good condition (around 15) were kept from April 2007 until December 2008. The exception is 8792 which managed to stay in service until October 22, 2009 due to being in extremely good condition following a body job in 2006. It was later used as a garage shuttle bus until it was retired for good on December 1, 2009. 

Preservation: Nowadays, 8776 and 8768 are the only two units to still exist and not be scrapped. 8776 and 8768 were first sent to Eastway. In mid 2017, 8776 was purchased by a private buyer and was briefly brought down to Ottawa in June 2019 for a convention. The bus later went back to Toronto where it was stored. The bus is now in OC Transpo livery with everything intact. 8768 is still at Eastway as of writing this and is owned by them.

Edited by OC Transpo/STO Fan

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On 7/27/2019 at 3:45 PM, OC Transpo/STO Fan said:

8768 is still at Eastway as of writing this and is owned by them.

I've personally emailed them and have actually inquired whether they intend to sell the unit at some point in the future.

Edited by Loud-Invero

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18 hours ago, Loud-Invero said:

I've personally emailed them and have actually inquired whether they intend to sell the unit at some point in the future.

That's great! Good luck on getting your future bus if possible!

Although you might want to make a few modifications to bring it to original specs. 

For example, 8768 now has a V730 and you would have to exchange that for a V731, although I've heard it's difficult to do due to all the extra sensors on the transmission. You might actually want to keep the V730 because you're slightly increasing the reliability of the bus. There are no electronic parts that could die on you, as the transmission is purely mechanical. Not that the V731 is unreliable by any means, as it's still very reliable. I would say keep the V730 for now, then switch it for a V731 when you're feeling adventurous or you want the bus back to its original specs.

The mirror is also an oval black one instead of the usual silver square one as delivered. I personally hate those black mirrors on Classics (they just look so out of place on an OC Transpo bus) so I would probably switch it out as well.



Edited by OC Transpo/STO Fan

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